Author Archive: RonL

Three Cups of Tea

OK, I’m not a real book reviewer, but this one might interest you in case you haven’t already read it. “Three Cups of Tea” by Greg Mortenson and David Relin.

It’s about an American mountain climber who doesn’t quite make it to the summit of K2 and wanders off and almost dies trying to find his way back and stumbles across a remote mountain village in backwoods Pakistan. He sees that the children in the town don’t have a school building (or a teacher), so he vows to build one, even though he doesn’t have any money and lives out of a car.

It was a #1 New York Times bestseller. Inspiring. It’s interesting that even though his parents were Lutheran missionairies, he doesn’ have strong religious beliefs and doesn’t seem all that idealistic. However, like many climbers who live to climb, he lives a very frugal lifestyle- simple lifestyle and because of this and his childhood in Africa, he doesn’t feel the least bit deprived in living in third world conditions and adapts easily and picks up languages and friends with equal ease.

He gets kidnapped by drug smugglers-Taliban types. Somehow his disarming manner and his goodwill see him through his adventures and he eventually gets many schools built (with the promise that they will also educate girls) in areas where the schools are either very poor, non-existent, or terrorist-training schools (madrasas).

It’s an excellent example of overcoming evil with good. Inspiring book.

Mixed Congregations

Do any of you radical anabaptists have non-radicals in your home congregation? I attend a Mennonite Church that has a large number of James Dobson fans in the congregation and another large number of people who do not want to offend any of these folks for fear of conflict and/or losing valuable members of the congregation. A friend of mine who is very peace and social justice oriented is very frustrated by the lack of support in this congregation and even some outright hostility towards peace issues being brought up in church.

We have ceased being a peace church in order to appease veterans and their spouses in the congregation. Some Mennonite women it seems have married non-Mennonite men who have military backgrounds and feel that bringing up peace issues is disrespectful to the sacrifice they made for their country. The women fear that if peace issues are brought up, their husbands will either want to attend a different church or just not attend church, so they don’t really want any peace issues brought up in church.

How do other congregations deal with this? (more…)